Condominium Cannot by Rule Shift Responsibility for Repair

In a couple of companion cases, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a condominium association could not enforce a rule requiring co-owners to paint the exterior of the unit access door when the master deed specifically provided that the association was responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement of the door.

The board of directors adopted a rule requiring all doors to be painted dark brown, and required the co-owners to paint their own doors.  The court held that requiring the color to be dark brown was within the board’s rule-making authority, but because the master deed required the association to maintain, repair, and replace the doors, the portion of the rule seeking to impose the requirement of painting on the co-owner exceeded the board’s authority and was void.

Both cases involved co-owners at Mt. Vernon Park Condominium and were based upon essentially the same set of facts:  the association imposed the rule, the co-owners refused to paint their doors, and the association sued.  The only discernible difference between the cases is that in the Clark case, the co-owner responded to the association’s motion for summary disposition and in the Williams case, the co-owner did not.  However, the end result was the same.

© Steve Sowell 2017